How to Make the Talent Development Evolution Work for Your Organization
Today’s workplace is undergoing evolution on all fronts. Yesterday’s once-yearly appraisal is now today’s ongoing performance management aligned with company goals. Day-long educational courses have been replaced with continuous, personalized learning, often served up by microlearning on any device, anytime.
Your people are more and more in the driver’s seat of their own development experiences at work. As the workplace evolves, so should your organization’s talent strategy.
JMT Fills the Gaps
When JMT (Johnson, Mirmiran, and Thompson) looked to the future, it was clear they needed to revamp their talent development strategy to keep up with demographic changes in the workforce. The architectural, engineering and construction firm sought a technology solution that would help them embrace continuous learning and development.
“The talent pool is shrinking as the boomers are retiring or not enough folks coming out of the STEM practices for engineering, architecture, et cetera,” said Jill Jameson, Vice President, JMT. “We saw a need to develop from within to fill the skill gaps we had across the organization.”
Are you ready to do the same? Here are four ways to embrace the talent development evolution at your organization.
1. Design the process of a collaborative goal
It’s past time for organizations to move toward a simplified goal-setting process. This process should include collaboration with the employee and manager and play to the employee’s strengths.
When employees can see a clear connection between their work and how it matters to the organization, they become more satisfied and enjoy the better engagement. With this approach, employees know what is expected of them and how their work impacts the business. They should also be able to link their personal goals to the organization’s goals.
2. Feedback and Recognition
Feedback helps employees grow and feel valued. But Gallup found that only one in three workers in the U.S. strongly agrees that they received recognition or praise for doing good work in the past seven days.
Here are three ways to provide effective feedback:
Tell your colleague the particular behavior that you observed. Use specifics – who, what, when.
Communicate the impact the behavior or action had on the business or team and why the behavior did or did not support success.
Work together to determine the best course of action to reinforce or remedy the behavior or actions taken.
When we talk about “development,” we are talking about building the capabilities of our people so we can prepare them for future opportunities. This is different than identifying underperformers. It’s also not career planning, although that conversation is certainly important for another time.
Employee development needs a place in your new talent development strategy because it is consistently recognized as a key driver of employee satisfaction. Gallup’s report, “How Millennials Want to Work and Live,” shows that 59 percent of millennials express that “opportunities to learn and grow” are extremely important to them when seeking employment. What about older workers? Forty-four percent of Gen Xers and 41 percent of Baby Boomers report that they want development, too.
4. Performance Check-Ins
To keep performance high, managers need to make ongoing performance conversations a priority. One way to do that is through regular check-ins. With these regularly-scheduled meetings, employees and managers should develop the trust needed for engagement and valuable performance conversations.
Choose topics that matter to your employee and the organization: focus on employee contributions, seek clarity on expectations and set accountability for goals. While the meeting should be centered on the employee (including their goals and aspirations), it’s also an opportunity for managers to offer feedback that helps employees rise to the next level of performance.
As part of JMT’s talent development evolution, the organization embraced 1:1 meeting. Using their learning technology’s “conversation starters,” learning development conversations flourished.
“We have a group of individuals who are not necessarily extroverts and don’t communicate or start dialog willingly or freely,” says Jameson. “The conversation starters are a great simple feature that gave our managers just kind of the dip a toe in the water to start a conversation with their staff on what’s meaningful to them, what they’re seeking, what ignites their passion, what they’re looking for in development.”
Change can be tough – but it can be an entrance to a new world of continuous learning, development and improved performance. Work today to start a talent development revolution that sets your people on a path to personal and organizational success.